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The Ideal Candidate

Finding the ideal SOCAN Writer and Publisher candidates for the SOCAN Board of Directors requires that we define the competencies we consider important.

SOCAN Director competencies include a combination of professional experience, behavioural skills, personal qualities, and specialized knowledge and skills.

Do Directors Need to Have Professional Industry Experience?

Board members should have professional industry experience. Each board member must understand, or learn quickly, SOCAN’s business environment so that they can help to develop effective strategies, make informed business decisions, and monitor results.

That said, we recognize there is value in including individuals with less rights industry knowledge, but who offer personal qualities and behavioural skills that would bring value to the Board. These individuals would need to display the capacity to learn quickly to understand how the business works.

In order to assist new and less experienced directors, the Board uses a “buddy” system for mentoring elected members. An experienced SOCAN director is partnered with each new director. In addition, the new, less experienced director may call on the Chair of the Board or any other director for assistance and guidance.

What Behavioural Skills Should Directors Have?

The culture of a Board is as important as the experience and knowledge of its members. Directors should have the behavioural skills to function and work effectively together as a collegial team. These include:


The ability to present their opinions clearly, frankly and constructively.

Active Listening

The ability to listen respectfully and ensure they understand what they have heard.


The ability to pose questions in a way that contributes positively to debates.


Open to new ideas and responsive to the possibility of change.


They do their homework and attend and actively participate in meetings. There is a good deal of reading and preparation required to actively and impactfully participate in meetings.

What Personal Qualities Should Directors Have?


They have personal integrity and will insist that SOCAN also maintain the highest of ethical standards.


They have the courage to ask tough questions and to voice their support of or opposition to management proposals and actions.

Good Judgment

They focus on the important issues and base their decisions and actions on sound business and common sense.


They have a breadth of knowledge and experience, which they apply to discussions and decisions.

Commitment to Learning

They are prepared to take the time to learn about SOCAN‘s management and operations and understand their role. They take responsibility for their own education in areas they specialize in for the Board and participate in educational sessions offered by SOCAN

What Specific Knowledge and Additional Skills Do We Need on the Board?

To be effective, all directors should have the financial acumen to read and understand financial statements. In addition, those members on the Risk Committee should have a deeper level of financial literacy in order to understand more detailed financial and risk-oriented documents. SOCAN will subsidize educational sessions for directors where need is identified.

Clear communication, common sense, financial analysis, the ability to prioritize multiple and complex issues, perform as a member of a team, and contribute to collective decision-making.

Ability to put aside the necessary time to read, evaluate and understand Board material sent in preparation for Board, Committee and Special meetings.

Ability to attend Board meetings.

Number of meetings per annum includes:

  • Board: (4);
  • Risk Committee (4);
  • Tariff Licensing and Distribution Committee (4);
  • Membership Committee (4); and
  • Any other Committee or additional meetings as required.

Normal participation for a Director includes Board meetings and Committee meetings related to one out of the above-noted three committees.

Consecutive day meeting attendance, e.g., Board Meeting on one day and Committee meetings possibly before and/or after the Board meeting day.

Willingness to travel to various destinations to attend Board and Committee meetings, as required.

Computer literacy: a director must be able to navigate the Directors’ secure website and receive, open and work with documents electronically (through the website and via email).

Willingness and ability to take the necessary courses/seminars (subsidized by SOCAN) to fill the gaps in one’s background to ensure effectiveness as a director.

Ability to represent SOCAN and the Board to members and other stakeholders.

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